Tofu continues to grow on me. When I first started this blog, I was definitely a newbie to experimenting with and eating tofu. You can check out my first ever tofu recipe for Crispy Tofu Tacos with Lime Cilantro Yogurt from an earlier post on the blog. I still struggle a bit with the texture and thought this recipe might totally turn me off since the tofu isn’t cooked. But, you know what?? It really makes a great stand in for feta in this Greek pasta bowl with tofu feta!! It’s a little less firm, so the texture is a bit different but the tofu soaks up the marinade so well that it tastes great and works perfect for this dish.
So why not feta?
For me, it’s personal. For starters, cheese really affects my skin. Well, dairy in general affects my skin. It first started with milk but in the last year, I have started to notice that when I eat larger amounts of cheese I begin to have more breakouts in various areas of my body. So when I can find substitutes I can tolerate and appreciate, I make the switch. So, if you really like cheese and it works for you, keep eating it!!
My second reason is that while I LOVE living in Peru, they don’t have good feta cheese. In fact, the feta is so terrible that the tofu substitute is actually better. ????
Think oregano, garlic, olive oil, lemon and olives. At least these are the flavors that most resonate with me when I think of Greek or Mediterranean foods. It’s so simple. No need for anything super fancy.
The star of this salad is definitely the tofu feta. A super simple marinade is made from apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and oregano. Soak the tofu in it and you get the tanginess you expect in feta cheese.
Extra virgin olive oil and olives are healthy fat superstars. Packed full of oleic acid, these monounsaturated fats are great for reducing inflammation and may even prevent cancer. Olive oil also contain antioxidants which are great for reducing the free radicals in your body and reduce chronic disease.
In addition to the olive oil, all you need to jazz up the salad is some garlic, oregano and lemon. Since this recipe requires no complex sauces it’s actually pretty easy to get on the table quickly. The only thing that takes time is the tofu. But if you plan a little bit ahead, and do some meal prep, you can whip this up in less than 15 minutes during the week. Making it the perfect meal for a weeknight meal!
Greek Pasta Bowl with Tofu Feta
- 7 ounces extra-firm tofu
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 8 oz pasta
- 1 cup chickpeas cooked
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil separated
- ½ red onion sliced
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper cut into 1” squares
- 2 roma tomatoes diced
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 20 kalamata olives
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Remove the tofu from the package and drain. Wrap in paper towels or clean dish towel or cheesecloth and place on a baking tray. Place a heavy object on top such as a cooking pot or cookbook and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
- After pressing the tofu, cut into small cubes. Combine with the rest of the marinade ingredients and let it sit under refrigeration for a minimum of 2 hours. It is best if you can marinate it at least overnight as more of the flavors are absorbed.
- Pasta and veggies
- When you are ready to prepare the dish, prepare all your veggies and have them cut and ready so that as soon as the pasta is ready you can toss it together.
- Cook pasta according to directions on package. In the last minute or so of the cooking time, add the chickpeas to heat them a tad.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 T of olive oil in a large skillet. When hot add the onions and peppers and cook until just slightly softened. Add garlic, tomatoes and drained tofu. Cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside until pasta is ready.
- When pasta is ready drain and then return to the pot. Add the cooked veggies and tofu plus the remaining 2 T of olive oil, oregano and lemon juice. Toss to coat the pasta and veggies with the oil and seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve it up into four bowls and top with olives.
Did you make this recipe? If so I want to know what you thought? Tell me in the comments here on the blog. I’d love to see your pictures so be sure to tag @cookeatlivelove on Instagram!
Here are some other quick and easy meals for weeknight dinner!